Why not bring your back garden to life by building your very own chicken house and raising your own chickens? Reap the rewards with your own regular, ongoing supply of beautifully tasting, freshly laid eggs. Although raising your own chickens is pretty well low maintenance, there are health-related issues you should be aware of and know what to look for.
WORMS – Roundworms are the most common and will lay their eggs inside the birds’ intestines via their droppings. These look like small round balls that stick to the chickens’ droppings, then fall to the ground where they go through a period of maturation. They are then picked up by the chickens, resulting in their developing inside the intestines. Gapworms and Hairworms can also cause your chickens problems. It’s advisable to carry out a worming program on your chickens, certainly twice a year. Flubenvet mixed into your birds’ rations over a week is a good and probably one of the best ways of eradicating parasitical worms, but can be acquired only via a vet’s prescription.
SCALY LEG MITES – Take a good look at your chickens’ legs and feet, and they will be covered in scales when they should be clean and smooth. These leg mites live underneath the scales, causing them to come away. If you see signs of this happening, then, a couple of times a week, try dipping your chickens’ legs in surgical spirit until the problem clears.
RED MITES – These are the cause of one of the more common chicken problems. You will find that these mites like to live in the small gaps and openings in a wooden chicken house. Although they don’t live on the chickens, they do come out at night, crawl onto the chickens and feed off their blood. The effect on the birds is they start looking anemic and stop laying. These mites are about 1mm in length, are red and slow moving. There is a powder you can buy and dusting your chicken house liberally is highly recommended.
If you are thinking of Erecting Your Own Chicken House and joining the green set, then please read my guide on a new up-to-date, step-by-step, easy-to-follow course.